In a beautiful state of North Eastern India, where there are many different tribal groups and cultures. There are over 220 ethnic groups. The people living in North Eastern Indian states vary from one place to another. People of states are divided into tribes and Sub-tribes. Hill region tribes live a simple lifestyle as they inhabit high mountains. So hunting and fishing are the prime occupations. India is a country of traditional music and music has been important in people’s lives. North-East too has their unique form of music. Besides these, all tribes in the region have their own folk dances associated with their religion and festivals.
In such a place of North-East, one boy named Tashi Namghyal Bhutia live in Sikkim, who was 16 years disciplined boy. He is a tall and slender boy with dark eyes. Unlike any other boys, Tashi lived his life commonly. He was brilliant boy who top the class every year. He belonged to the Bhutia community which is the one of the 3 major ethnic communities in Sikkim. Bhutia tribes are of Tibetan origin. Tashi has a much faith in God. He went to temples and monasteries on holidays. There are 4 members in his family: him, his dad “Herriot”, Grandmother and his sister “Yasi”.
One day he was getting ready for school.
“Dada! We’re getting late!” roared out Tashi’s sister as she impatiently waited for him in the car.
She fixed herself comfortably on the seat and picked up her I-pad trying best to ignore the old driver standing there.
“Cheche Tashi always makes it late”, the old driver chuckled with a doma fixed in his mouth as he stood beside the car. Then after a while, he leisurely entered the car managing his body on the leather seat and turned toward her with a smile. At this she angrily grabbed the seat and poked her head out of the car window.
“Tashi!”, she called out again, this time with much irritation in her voice, but there was still no response from Tashi who was calmly polishing his shoe inside the room. His sister never understood why Tashi was so tedious at everything, he had things done in his own slow and precise way and maybe for that reason she hated him since childhood.
Finally after seven minutes of continuous wait and yelling, a slender figure in math raghu and polished shoe made its way out of the house and steadily walked toward the back car. Rather than him hurrying for being late, they could instead hear him humming a slow song which made his sister even annoyed.
“Sorry Ashim, Sorry uncle Dophu”, he said with a low smile as he entered the car and fixed his soft hair to stay gleeful.
“You don’t have to apologise for the old driver”, his sister irately murmured under her breath glaring at her IPad as her fingers scrolled down the feeds. “God! For the thousand time Tashi, stop tagging me in your stupid dance videos. It’s embarrassing and what if Aapa(Dad) finds out? He-”
But Tashi was paying no heed to his sister’s grumps and groans. Instead he was lost looking out of the window with his headphones on. Tashi rhythmically tapped his fingers on the window and ceaselessly stared at the trees and the colourful buildings with longitudinal windows, as they passed by them. It was like he could see something different in those ordinary structures. Something no one could understand and explain; something so different yet so beautiful in a peculiar way.
On the other hand, there was nothing that could describe the twins as alike, though they had lost their mother at three and were raised under the strict discipline by their father, a respected Herriot Tashi Namghyal and Yasi. They were different in every way. Tashi liked viewing life in a slow and aesthetic way, he appreciated art and poetry and the efforts of humanity, where he was mostly found sketching or scribbling his heart out, yet isolated from reality and people. Slow and old music defined him. We could tell he was odd and still so familiar with the world’s beauty. While viewing his sister, she was like a dancing flame; bold and raged at the finest thing. She was like one of those prosaic people among the 7 billion with a keen taste in k-pop.
And that’s why everyone said, Tenzin was indeed something different and magical. The speed car stopped right in front of school gate. Tashi switched back to the reality and stopped tapping on the window. There was a voice inside his head telling him not to stop and not to fake it again but he took a deep breath and silenced them with a stab. He had to do it every time, It became like an everyday ritual since he had turned sixteen. Then he stretched his lips to a low smile and flopped out of the car leaving his headphone on the seat. “Yangtse!” Tashi shouted out in happiness seeing his best friend Yangtse come from a distance. She was the only friend Tashi made since his childhood at Namchi. And that was how they became friends. Yangtse wasn’t tall and slender like Tashi instead she was chubby with cute hazel eyes and baby pink cheeks. Her hair was kept short and neatly clipped with a black bunny clip that Tashi had gifted her a year ago.
“Yangtse! What’s up?” he said again as she came close to him. But this time she sensed a change in Tenzin’s tone and expressions. She has sensed the change in Tenzin all along, the way of his speech, averted eyes during conversation and many more which portrayed Tashi in a different way but she kept it close and decided not to dig deeper into it.
She stood in front of him and watched his sister walk away in annoyance. Then she turned her gaze toward Tashi.
“Tashi, I appreciate our friendship but we are in high school now. You should really mingle out with boys and make new friends.”
“Nope, not at all. As long as I have you I’m all good. And you know, I don’t like boys. They…they are too vulgar, unlike you”. He said, pinching Yangtse’s chubby cheeks.
It was true, Tashi never liked boys. Though he had a lot of friendships with boys in his childhood days, they only made him feel miserable, as they would always taunt him or corner him and call names that broke his inner self.
He never got the privilege to cry in his mother’s lap and tell her how the people treated him and how he didn’t like soccer. His sister never bothered about him and approaching to his strict father wasn’t that easy, because in either way he was the one who would end up getting beaten, so he was mostly found alone and aghast until he met chubby checked Yangtse, there was a whole new definitions of life where every broken pieces of him became better, because he knew she accepted him for who was and who he would be. “So, let’s go?”, he said in a queasy tone as he averted his gaze towards someone briskly walking past them.
“Go ahead”, she replied in a quick tone and walked forward as Tashi followed. Next day morning, he prayed for Lord Buddha, as it was the small Buddhist festival, And Tashi, his sister and Yangtse gathered in his house before heading to the monasteries. They leave from home in their car with their driver. As usual Tashi was looking out of the window wearing headphones while travelling.
Suddenly the car stops. “What happened?” Tashi asked the driver. “Yes, why did we stop here? Why are we wasting time?” asked Yangtse. And the driver said something is wrong with the car, “I think that the engine of a car has a mechanism problem”.
Yasi asked! How much time it takes to fix the car. Then the driver said, it takes half an hour to fix the car. What, half an hour! Said Yangtse, It looks like a long time, we couldn’t wait for it said Tashi. I think we should go now with a Taxi Driver after solving the mechanism problem. Please inform our dad, okay? Then the driver said, okay!
Let’s go, Tashi said and they moved little forward and started waiting taxi. It was 5 minutes waiting taxi, they were not getting taxi, The taxis were running but full of passengers. They felt bored. Then after, they got a taxi and get in it. After some time they reached the monasteries. The monastery was very big and beautiful. There was a beautiful garden also where little monks were playing. They went there and click some pictures. Afterward, they went inside the Monastery. They say that there was a large Lord Buddha’s statue. The Monks were praying and some people’s were sitting there. They also sit there and pray for God for a while.
Tashi prayed that he wanted to know about their tribe, “The History of Bhutias”. He prayed inside his heart
Please do something magical so that I can know the history of our tribe.”
Tashi! Where are you lost, Yangtse said. Then, Tashi opened his eye and replied nothing. Then they spend their time. They eaten Prasad which is called as “Choks” in Buddhist. Later, they came back their home, and after sometime they have their dinner and take rest.
Next day, as usual, they went to school. Tashi met Yangtse and talked about their chapters, works, and also talked about the day they enjoyed in monasteries. After, few minutes the morning assembly bell rings. They all went to the ground for assembly. They sing morning prayer, therefore the Headmaster of the school announced that the school is going to be closed from tomorrow onwards due to summer vacations. Afterward, all the students went to their classes and their classes began smoothly and the teachers gave them assignments and work to do in vacations. Subsequently after finishing school, he went home after reaching home his father “Herriot '' informed him and his sister that they have to go Bhutan for one week in his friend’s house. He also said that they would enjoy it because in his village there would be a cultural programme and they will get a chance to know about tribes as bhutias origin is Bhutan so Tashi became very happy because he always has an interest to know about tribal culture and traditions. He was so excited that he hugged his father. Seeing his excitement he was also happy. Next, they started packing their clothes, necessary things, etc.
However, after two days they were getting ready to go to Bhutan. After becoming ready, all moved to the bus station and entered the bus as Bhutan is near Sikkim. Firstly, all of them sat properly in the bus and the bus started moving. So, here begins the journey of Tashi and his interest to know about Tribals.
After 4-5 hours they reached their destination. After reaching, they saw really beautiful scenario, beauty of nature, greeny and clean as similar to Sikkim. Sometime later they reach Herriot friend home “Xoden”. Xoden house was medium size and beautiful. It was in a peaceful area “Welcome welcome!” Xoden said we are meeting after a long time. Yes! Said Herriot, I miss you a lot, than they hug together and went inside the house, Xoden introduced his father, wife, son and daughter. Afterwards, they all have dinner together and watched movie together. As they were tired travelling so they take rest after watching movie.
Next morning Tashi formed a friendship with Xoden's son Tenzin. Usually he doesn't make friends with boys but Tenzin was good with a soft heart and he was a really disciplined boy so he accepted him as a friend. Tashi and Tenzin were spending time talking with each other while talking. Tenzin said: “Will you go with us to our cultural programme organized in the village? Then Tashi replied, Yes, why not!
There, people were wearing their traditional dresses(Bhutia dress). In Tenzin village there were many Bhutia community people. At that programme some peoples were performing traditional dances, some were giving important speeches to the Bhutia community. Tashi was listening to the speech carefully and knowing new things. Everyone in the programme was enjoying each other’s company and were dancing and some were drinking traditional wines and eating traditional foods.
There were some adults who knew everything about their tribe. So Tashi asked many things like the history of the Bhutia tribe and learned new things. They also enjoy the programme singing, dancing, having sweets, etc.
Then after they go back to Tenzin’s home Tashi now becomes more curious about the tribe, he asked Tenzin’s grandfather more information and history of the tribe. Tenzin’s grandfather told him as much he knows, then, after tomorrow Tenzin, Tashi and their sisters went for a village tour, the roads were well developed. The village was beautiful and the natural beauty of that village was greedable. It was a peaceful village with good hearted people. In that village Tashi was asking questions about Tribal to the adults and now he finally knew all the things about the “Bhutia” tribe. After touring the village, in the evening they went home and they were hungered. So they ate some food and rested. In this way a whole week flew away just like a snap of the time in touring and knowing something. And the day came to go back home. Tashi, Yasi and his father became ready. It was time to go. So, Tashi and Tenzin both hugged together with love, spending time together and knowing they had become best friends. They shared a great bond, they were really attached to each other. Before leaving they exchanged numbers.
That’s how Tashi made his first male friend.